By the Rev Kenneth Donald, Prestongrange Church, Prestonpans

IN MANY ways, we are all creatures of habit. Our well-practised routines give a sense of order and wellbeing with the familiar providing a comforting security blanket that we appreciate.

Our interests and associations stimulate us and our work and our relationships define and enliven us. We are social beings after all. Take away any of these things from our lives and we feel diminished and threatened and somewhat insecure and deflated.

That is why we have found this pandemic such a trial and threat. It has robbed us of so much that we hold dear (and for some, it has taken away dear ones who were deeply loved). It has unsettled and rattled us as it has chocked off so much of the patterns and rhythms of our daily living that we cherish.

We don’t like to be ruled or controlled by anything that poses a threat or curtails our freedom making us feel vulnerable and helpless. The tedium of inactivity or boredom for some, while for others, the demands or difficulties of family life or work has made for a testing and trying time.

Many have turned to prayer and to God’s word at this time, trusting that God knows our plight and hears our cry and has things to say to us in his word, the bible.

We can trust in our politicians, scientific advisors and our NHS staff (and we are very thankful for them and their assiduous work) but even they have their human limitations.

To believe in a higher and sovereign hand upon us makes all the difference.

The writer of the psalms (or songs) in the bible says: ‘I trust in you, O Lord. My times are in your hands’.

Is God seeking to draw us to himself that we might know his mercy and his love in our time of need? Faith in God puts fear to flight and brings peace to our troubled hearts. Jesus said: ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me (John 14.1)’.

He died on the cross that we might live and by his saving grace, have a hope that triumphs in life and in death.